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PathRacer: Racing Profile HMM Paths on Assembly Graph

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Algorithms for Computational Biology (AlCoB 2019)


Recently large databases containing profile Hidden Markov Models (pHMMs) emerged. These pHMMs may represent the sequences of antibiotic resistance genes, or allelic variations amongst highly conserved housekeeping genes used for strain typing, etc. The typical application of such a database includes the alignment of contigs to pHMM hoping that the sequence of gene of interest is located within the single contig. Such a condition is often violated for metagenomes preventing the effective use of such databases.

We present PathRacer—a novel standalone tool that aligns profile HMM directly to the assembly graph (performing the codon translation on fly for amino acid pHMMs). The tool provides the set of most probable paths traversed by a HMM through the whole assembly graph, regardless whether the sequence of interested is encoded on the single contig or scattered across the set of edges, therefore significantly improving the recovery of sequences of interest even from fragmented metagenome assemblies.

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  1. 1.

    So far only GFA from de Bruijn graph assemblers like SPAdes and MegaHit is supported, but we will address this restriction in the next PathRacer versions.


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This work was supported by the Russian Science Foundation (grant 19-14-00172). The authors would like to extend a special thanks to Sergey Nurk and Tatiana Dvorkina for all the fruitful discussions that were of great help in improving the algorithms.

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Correspondence to Anton Korobeynikov .

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Shlemov, A., Korobeynikov, A. (2019). PathRacer: Racing Profile HMM Paths on Assembly Graph. In: Holmes, I., Martín-Vide, C., Vega-Rodríguez, M. (eds) Algorithms for Computational Biology. AlCoB 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 11488. Springer, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-18173-4

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